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Mark Wilson

Building speed by combining notes and/or leaving notes out

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Playing alone at home for first two years - I tended to gravitate to intermediate versions of fiddle tunes that had more notes than it should have but filled out things nicely. I wasn't concerned with speed, just enjoying the learning process

Fast forward two years:

I'm playing regular with two guitar players now who are a bit ahead of me in speed. And I've found that practicing more (and harder) doesn't guarantee immediate results re speed. I am picking up speed but gains in speed is too slow and steady to get were I need to be now.

Searching for a fix, I found that combining notes and leaving notes out in sticky areas solves much of my speed issues. And it doesn't always sound like less if you chose the right notes in the right spots. Chances are, all you'll notice is that you can play it cleaner and faster. Down the road you can always put notes back in

Play a problem tune and note where it tends to wobble. If it's because of a stream of quick notes - find one place in the middle for a quarter note and see it if helps. A place to gather yourself in the stream of 8th notes. Work that until you have all the bumps out and (for me) that allows playing the tune faster and cleaner and most importantly... without fear.

Not sure why it took a bit for me to see this. Maybe I give arraignments too much respect - attempting every note and phrase as to get it 'right'.

Here's a version of Whiskey before breakfast that I've reworked for speed. Originally it was a steady stream of 8th notes. I combined notes and made places where I could gather myself. I even made a 'bail out' B version(second B) for nights when I'm not on it. First time I tried that bit, 4 "quarter-note double-stops" walking down someone commented that it sounded pretty cool.

(requires free e-tabledit player to view or play)
whiskey fore breakfast.tef

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Updated Sep-26-2015 at 7:47pm by Mark Wilson

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Comments

  1. Mark Wilson's Avatar
    FWIW I went from around 160bpm to 180 by reworking the tune
    Updated Sep-26-2015 at 7:48pm by Mark Wilson
  2. Bertram Henze's Avatar
    180 bpm - is that counting one beat per quarter note or per half note?
  3. Mark Wilson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze
    180 bpm - is that counting one beat per quarter note or per half note?
    one beat per quarter note - I think - 4 beats per measure?

    The guitar players I play with would say its 90 bpm. Same as you tap your foot (2 beats per measure

    It's about that same tempo as the midi playback on the attached tef file